Hello and thank you for joining me here on Stories for a little chat about wellbeing and how nature is absolutely key for feeling great. Well, for me it is anyway! I’ve lived pretty much my whole life in the countryside and living in a town/city is my worst nightmare because I just cannot live without proper, fresh air and countryside. It’s each to their own and living in a town might be fab for popping to the shops, socialising and actually a whole host of great things but I need green and fields and space to keep myself happy. My husband is even more that way inclined, having grown up on a farm with no neighbours, he’d go further into the middle of nowhere than I would. So we are pretty happy living where we do because we can go walking right from our door and see so much nature and enjoy the peace of it all.
Walking is actually something I’ve learnt I shouldn’t go too long without doing. When we first got our dog, Monty, over three years ago, I came to the realisation that just getting outside every single day for a walk was so good for my mental health and, of course, my physical health. I’m not much of a fan of hardcore exercise, but going on a good walk every day is great because it’s enjoyable and not too intense! Unless you walk up a big hill that is! I used to walk Monty about four miles a day and I’ve never felt better than then. Of course, once I got pregnant and felt mostly too sick and tired to go out, my husband took over a bit and then after the arrival of baby Beatrice, he has become the main dog walker. But now we have more of a routine with Beatrice, I am going to try to do half the walks, because I really miss it and when I do go, my head feels so much clearer on the way back. I also really miss one-on-one time with my best boy!
This time of year, because of the sunshine and heat, we have to be up early to walk Monty because, as you can see, he is black and pretty hairy so he overheats later in the day. And, let’s be honest, so would I! But again, that’s kind of nice… being up and out with nothing but the birdsong to accompany you and your mad dog. I really do recommend, dog or not, that every now and again you get up early and go on a morning stroll. I will say that Monty could be better at posing with people as you can see here. My Dad’s dog Ruger is waiting for his turn though.
The summer months also mean I can do away with the hardcore waterproof boots and sling some Skechers on. I’ve had mine a good few years now and they are so great for getting out walking because they are so comfortable, lightweight and breathable, but all the while looking great. They have a whole GoWalk range but I’ve actually got my eyes on these ones right now.
I also love a spot of gardening. Lots of my friends laugh at me because I enjoy things that people traditionally come to when they are a bit older (see also, jam-making) but honestly I find such joy in planting things and seeing the end result. I’m very much flower-centric…none of this structural foliage stuff for me, but I do think I need to find some good things for winter interest as things start to look a little barren then! Any suggestions? My favourite flowers are roses, of which I have quite a few, and sweet peas. I bought the Keith Hammet sweet peas from Plants2Gardens earlier in the year and they are shooting up the poles now. I am SO excited to see them flower.
Here’s a couple of snaps of things looking great right now.
I’ve used Richard Jackson’s Flower Power and Root Booster to give everything a new lease of life and my husband was very pleased with the gift of Lawn Magic I gave him! Hopefully it’ll all be looking tip top by September when we plan to have a little garden party after Beatrice’s christening. But the main thing is, I just love a little wander round the garden looking at the flowers. Such a simple thing but it really makes me happy. Beatrice likes to come with me too and I let her have a feel of all the different textures of leaves and petals.
Another thing that I’ve finally realised is important to keep me feeling good is taking the time for a good skincare routine. Funnily enough, I’ve got better at looking after my skin since having a baby. You’d think I have less time, but I’ve discovered that it’s actually more important than ever to take five or ten minutes just for me every single day. It’s some of the only proper alone time I have and also I don’t feel I have to rush because the baby and the husband are both in bed already! Ha!
So, seeing as we’re talking about nature, it makes sense to share with you something new I’m trying in my routine from Liz Earle. They have come up with a retinol alternative that is extracted from plants as is their usual “naturally active” ethos.
Now, I can’t usually use anything with retinol in it on my face, as my skin is too sensitive, but the clever guys and gals at Liz Earle have come up with something that mimics retinol but that can even be used on sensitive skin. The two new products that I am just beginning to give a go are the Alt-Retinol Skin Paste and the Alt-Retinol Booster Drops. I personally am hoping that they will help refine my pores a little, as I’ve noticed how much more obvious they have become lately, particularly on my cheeks, but I wouldn’t say no to a little extra radiance too! I’ll be honest and say it’s still too early (as the products are so very new) to give you results photos etc., but what I will say is that I’ve had no reaction at all to the products and they have left my skin feeling great! I particularly love the Booster Drops, which I just use after I’ve cleansed and toned in the morning. Everything is feeling lovely and smooth.
Lastly, I think we all know that nothing it better than a good night’s sleep for helping you to feel your best and this is something I’m not great at and, surprisingly, it’s nothing to do with having a baby! I’ve always been a rubbish sleeper and I need complete silence and darkness just to hope of drifting off. I love a pillow spray for helping me calm down at bedtime but I like to alternate them. My two favourites are from This Works and Neom.
This Works have a choice between their Deep Sleep or Deep Sleep Plus pillow sprays. The former is to help you drift off in the first place, but the latter is motion-activated, so if you are restless and wake up a lot it’s perfect. I recommend these to a lot to people who can’t sleep, whether that be usual for them or because they are stressed. It really, really helps me get a better nights sleep. Neom’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist is the one I’m currently using and I actually used this one while my daughter was tiny and still sleeping in the room with us, as it was perfectly safe for her too. My top tip is going into your room and spraying a little on the sheets or into the air before you go and brush your teeth etc., so that when you walk back in you get that lovely relaxing fragrance getting you in the mood for sleep straight away.
Please do get in touch with me and let me know what works for you to help you relax and feel just that little bit better in everyday life. Sometimes I think the little things matter more day-to-day than big changes.
You can find me on Instagram @kathryn _goldsmith or Twitter @kathryngoldsmith, I’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I’m going to put my iPad down and give Monty dog a big fuss and a cuddle while the baby is napping because he doesn’t get enough of all that these day. Here’s an outtake of me trying to get a photo with him!
Take care and I hope you manage to enjoy a bit of nature yourself this week.
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